The Governor of Montana, Greg Gianforte, has signed a bill banning the use of the popular social media app TikTok in the state from 1st January 2024, unless a court overrules it. Any app stores offering TikTok to Montanans face a $10,000 fine per violation, increasing by $10,000 a day. While the law aims to target foreign adversaries’ apps, opponents argue it violates the First Amendment. TikTok plans to challenge the law, with its spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter stating the company “want[s] to reassure Montanans that they can continue using TikTok to express themselves”. Similarly, tech trade group NetChoice criticised the bill as “plainly unconstitutional”. Governor Gianforte also sent a directive to ban social media from other foreign adversaries, including Russia and China, on government-issued devices. The legislation passed in April, with Gianforte proposing amendments the same month to expand the ban to other social media apps. However, the amendments were not considered before the legislative session ended. TikTok has been the subject of controversy since users’ data security was questioned by lawmakers, with multiple countries banning it.

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